Friday, April 10, 2009

Soap Box Friday: Great Digital Argument #1 - PC vs. Mac. Let The Wars Begin

Good Morning Everybody,
We wrapped week two of my Digital WakeUp Call tour last night in Buffalo - again a good time was had by all. Today we head back home - a pretty long drive, but LaDawn and I picked up this "book on tape" entitled, "The Last Lecture" by Randy Pausch [link]. It's a fascinating and up lifting book about a young man who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and how he faced the challenges of the disease by determining what is really important in life and living his life that way to the end. We would give this book a big "thumbs up" - worth every minute of the listen.

As LaDawn and I travel the country with the tour, we are driving most of it. The benefit is that we have a wonderful opportunity to see more of our great USA than most Americans. I'm really looking forward to our swing through the Southwest next week. It's a part of the country we have not explored much. Our drive from Phoenix to Tucson, El Paso, Albuquerque then on to Denver and finally to Salt Lake City should change all that. I hope to post a picture or two from our travels.

Anyway, let's get right to it. Last week's Soap Box Friday topic, "Are We Doing Ourselves And our Clients A Disservice If We Deliver Wedding Images On A DVD?" [link] caused quite a stir, but I think is was a good opportunity for discussion. That was the purpose of the post - to get dialogue started on the topic and dialogue is what we got. Here is the link to last week's post - be sure to read all the comments that follow - quite fascinating.

Today's topic should really "stir the broth". Give it a read and join the fun. Here we go...

Soap Box Friday: Great Religious Digital Argument #1 - PC vs. MAC. Let The Wars Begin
I've been involved in computers for a number of years. I'm a Physicist and Engineer by training and was even pursuing a third degree in computer science a few years ago in my collage days. I'm a really geeky guy. Anyway, everybody is in full swing with computers these days - PC, Mac, and even Linux. The software on all platforms gives us unlimited possibilities to retouch/enhance photographs, run our businesses, purchase nearly everything our hearts desire, make new friends, solicit countless avenues of information and entertainment or to just explore and have fun. Whenever I give a program, one of the great arguments of Digital Photography unusually comes up - PC vs. Mac. And, the most common comment I hear is, "If the software doesn't work on a Mac then I'm not interested."

When I hear those remarks, I jokingly refer to them as a "Mac attack." Why, because I NEVER hear such remarks from the PC community. Here is the deal gang. It's always about using the best tool for the job! It should never be PC vs. Mac issue anyway. I present my program on a Mac Book Pro computer running Parallels for the PC side of things. I like the Mac for some it's software tools and I prefer the PC for a different set of software tools. It's that simple and clear cut for me. I simply use the right tool for the job!

I think that if I used the Mac/PC logic to purchase a camera, I probably never would have purchased a 35mm camera. Follow my logic, "Well, if my 35mm camera doesn't shoot medium 120 format, I'm just not going to buy it." It is the same kind of logic with the PC vs. Mac issue.

I'm a business man first and a photographer second. If I made a business decision simply based on which computer platform I preferred, I would be putting blinders on when it comes to so many other production enhancing software titles available. That's why we use both platforms - PC and Mac - I want the best of both worlds.

Folks, the choice of which computer platform to use should not be a "religious experience". It should be based on which, if not both, bring better production efficiencies to our businesses and enhanced creative possibilities to our projects. Both offer platforms that allow me and my staff to work to the best of our abilities. So why is it a war?

-Food for thought.

Hey gang, that's it for me today. We've got the long drive back to the Kentucky side of Cincy today so we are hitting the road shortly. Everybody who celebrates Easter have a great Easter weekend and for the rest, take time to enjoy the weekend too. We are off to Phoenix on Monday where we are looking at our largest crowd yet - about 275 friends of photography. See ya' in the great Southwest all next week. Adios, -David


  1. Drive safe. I live in El Paso, and am looking forward to seeing you on Wednesday. You will be in a very beautiful part of our country.

  2. David,

    I am an engineer too. And I know all common OS's from CP/M up... all I can say is, since I switched my desktop from PC to Mac (not my servers: they run Linux) my productivity has gone up immeasurably. Yes, I still have a PC, but I have not fired it up for six months.


  3. David, Last night was great in Buffalo. You are a professional. Five hours and forty five minutes with only one 20 minute break, how do you do it? The information was great and getting more details on the lighting techniques that you use was the best part of the night. Good luck on the next 50 cities. Thank you for all you do to promote and teach about photography. PC or Mac...Mac for me, but I have also told people that ask, you need to get a computer that does what you need it to do.

  4. David,

    Loved your seminar in Independence (Cleveland) and learned quite a bit. For those who couldn't make it, this story was my favorite part of the night.

    David tipped us off to this post on Tuesday and said he wasn't taking sides, just setting up the debate. Then he picked up his mac for everyone to see and the mac fans chuckled.

    Then he minimized everything and you saw XP running in Bootcamp, to the amusement of the opposite side.

    Later, when he left power point and went into Lightroom the machine became incredibly sluggish leading to more laughter. Apps began to lock up, power point was hogging memory, etc. David, to his credit, refused to take sides still.

    But then when the seminar was almost done David began showing videos and suddenly everything froze, bootcamp came up and advised everyone that the computer needed to be rebooted.

    David shouted to his wife that he had it and he was going to buy a Dell tomorrow, at which point the projector had lost it's video signal and the dell projector proudly displayed the "DELL" logo on the screen.

    It couldn't have been scripted or timed any better.

  5. David, I saw your program in Tampa and can hardly wait for the Master Class the end of this month.

    I proudly use Macs (except for my PCs) and wouldn't have it any other way.

  6. David and Ladawn - I hope you have a great time out west and while in El Paso you should check out White Sands in Las Cruces if you get a chance. It is amazing!!

    Enjoy the trip!

  7. I agree, I have an I-mac that runs Parallels as well. I also own an I-book, A Toshiba Laptop, and a custom PC desktop. I agree, and I tell my students, when you look at a photograph in the gallery, you can't tell if it's a Canon, Nikon, Sony. Or if it was processed on a PC or Mac.

  8. David,

    I wrote a fairly lengthy response to one line from this post. I'd love if you would read it and tell me what you think!

    -Matt Beaty

  9. For me personally, the choice is simple. We simply cannot afford a Mac. And my husband is such a computer geek, and loves "tinkering" with the computer. Can't really do that with a Mac. Our PC was built from scratch, and runs beautifully. I can't remember it ever crashing. That said, there is one more reason why I prefer PCs. I am so used to them, that I have trouble navigating a Mac's systems, lol. PCs just work for me, I guess.

  10. Forget about PC-Mac wars and get Linux! Ubuntu rocks!

  11. Ubuntu is not bad - I have Ubuntu boxes too - but not as good as a Mac. Ubuntu is high-end computing for people who want to tinker. OS X is high-end computing for epople who want to work. Windows is.. Windows, and hence needs more maintenance and handholding. While the OS makes no difference once the work is done, it is getting there that counts, and the Mac is restfully better for that.

    And I do feel qualified to have an opinion. I have been using PCs since the early 1980s. I have no religion on the subject - as said, I have PCs, Macs and Ubuntu machines sitting around. I like to be pragmatic, and say try the Mac. You may find it as liberating as I did.

    PS David, last night in Buffalo was very inspiring.

  12. David I agree I like applications from both platforms, but only one system runs both. Game, set, match for Mac.

  13. David, I completely agree with your assessment of the situation.
    Personally, I used PCs for many years (and still do in my non-photography job, though not by choice), but switched to Mac last year after many frustrations with the PC I had been using.
    I have to say, I love the Mac. OS X is so stable, I will never return to a PC. However, I certainly won't begrudge the PC lovers their PCs, either.

  14. David, I agree with you that you should use the best equipment for the job. But it bothers me when software is created for the PC and not the Mac. I have always used the Mac because it is the best equipment for me, however I'm sometimes limited with a certain software.

    I still read your blog first each day even tho you shoot Canon and use a PC. LOL


  15. Being a PC user since '94 and recently switching to the Mac about 4 years ago......I will use the machine that gives me the least amount of headache....and wow....I can't ask for a more stable machine than this Mac and OS X combo......Lumapix, being the only software that that is not available for the Mac that I would actually like, I still won't put windows on my machine....the people at Lumapix should see the light and create a version for the Mac.....they're probably losing quite a bit of business for that oversight. I'm just going to go and find another piece of software that is comparable which there is plenty to choose from.

    OH.....I was at the Cleveland seminar....very cool until that so called operating system started to wasn't the Mac causing the was the foreign crap you installed on it ; ) Window on a Mac is like putting ketchup on a steak....uhgg., I didn't even realize I felt this strongly.

  16. Thanks for coming to Buffalo David.

    I learned a lot and had a great time at your seminar...

    Stop back next year!

  17. To Matt Beaty: I read your post. I think you have to ask yourself what could possibly be gained by reacting negatively to any human being—but particularly to a well respected and caring individual as David Ziser. And to write a “fairly lengthy response to one line” seems somewhat invalidated. Often, it is better to reflect upon what someone says, rather than to respond to what is said. Also; we see a few hundred of his images throughout the course of any given year. He shoots thousands of images at any given event. So we don’t see his other creative styles. Sorry, but I was not impressed with your response and I readily admit that if I focused more on the art of selling then I would be a more successful photographer. If I wanted the favor of others and had posted such a blog I would move swiftly to delete it and rethink my thought process. Having said this, I dug deeper into your blog and your web site and you have a very nice layout and you’ve posted many remarkable images. And as you mature in age I believe you will grow to better learn how to treat others… add all of those skills to your bag of tricks and I would say you have an outstanding career ahead of yourself. Brian F.

  18. David, I couldn't agree more with your statement! I started 'playing' with computers while in college during the 70's. I bought my first mac in 85 and used them until the late 90's when I bought my first pc. I used both platforms for years until I switched exclusively to windows in early 2000 or so. I have four pcs and find if I keep them tuned up, they work fine.

    ps. great workshop!

  19. Seems no one mentions Randy Pausch. His youtube lecture changed my life and the way I view things. Kudos to you for reading his book.

  20. Mac is worth the extra money. However, having it to spend is the catch.

  21. I've only seen a couple of mentions on here about Linux, but what about software for Linux? Thats what I primarily run. Not OS X, not Windows. Linux. What good software out there is the equivalent of Lightroom and runs on Linux? I've seen Bibble Pro, even used there Bibble 5 preview version (which has issues, but its pre-beta so I expect it). I would buy it, but the development seems to be going so slow that I don't know if I can wait. Anyone have any recommendations? I'm not a pro, but I've still shot over 30K pictures of all sorts of different stuff.

    Despite being used to Free software (as in freedom, which often costs little up front), I'm perfectly happy to pay real money for software that works well, does what I want/need, and hardest to find runs on Linux. I'm pretty sure there are hundreds if not thousands out there like me right now. Its just hard to get proper numbers since we don't 'buy' Linux in order to install it on our systems. So the big software makers don't have any visible incentive to port any software.

    So, anyone have any suggestions? Is Bibble really my only option?

  22. Wow- I have never seen a tamer Mac vs PC thread! Impressive. One thing that has been overlooked is that by using a Mac you can run either OS X or Windows. You don't have that option on a "PC" box. I did see a couple posts about cost. In the spirit of the thread, I simply suggest Google Total Cost of Ownership, Mac vs PC. And I think I saw a comment where navigating a Mac was more difficult. I have a hard time understanding that. One any given day I can have up to 15 hard drives attached to my Mac. Each drive has a name that means something to me (2008 Master Library or Smith 7-09 Video). Windows gives me an arbitrary letter assignment. And I pray that if it's a Firewire or USB drive, the letter assignment remains the same when disconnected/reconnected or all of my paths are lost! If only in that regard, the Mac is much more easier to navigate. But for the record, I use both: Mac & PC.

  23. I've been researching Mac and Pc's for the last few days. Before I buy, could someone please give me an idea of how much ram and what kind of processor I need ( at least the minimum amount of ram and processors ). I'm on a budget and trying to get the best bang for the buck. Thanks!!!!

  24. @Anonymous
    They both use the same hardware these days, except you can't find AMD hardware at Apple, its Intel only. I'd personally go for a minimum of 2GB of RAM, and probably a 2.0GHz processor or greater. Prices vary, and remember, you can only legally (and easily) get Mac OS X on Apple hardware. However, you can fairly easily run Windows through Bootcamp or virtualization so you can still run all of your Win apps.